Suffolk: Veteran takes on ultra cycling challenge to support Royal British Legion
PUBLISHED: 17:50 06 February 2014 | UPDATED: 18:19 06 February 2014
An ex-serviceman who now lives and works in Suffolk hopes to raise £20,000 for the armed forces community by completing an “ultra” cycling challenge.
Garry McCormick, who backs the EADT’s Shoulder to Shoulder campaign, will spend a fortnight in the saddle this June, raising funds for the Royal British Legion during RockRide2 – a 1,500-mile sponsored bike ride.
An RAF Regiment veteran who served in Bosnia, Iraq and Sierra Leone, Mr McCormick, 47, wants to raise the profile of a charity whose vital work he has seen in action.
“I’m incredibly proud to be representing the Royal British Legion,” he said.
“Like most people, I always wear my poppy with pride, but it wasn’t until I was asked to represent the RBL that I had my eyes opened to exactly how much they support our serving and ex-serving armed forces personnel and their families.”
Mr McCormick will be setting off on his challenge from Gibraltar with 15 other charitable cyclists on June 1.
Together they will cover 1,500 miles, climbing 7,000ft through the Pyrenees mountains amid blistering 38C temperatures before their arrival in High Wycombe on Armed Services Day, two weeks later.
“I’m really excited about it,” he said.
“As well as being a challenge to raise as much money as possible, it’s also going to be a personal challenge to see if I’m good enough to do this – I have never attempted anything of this magnitude before.”
A keen sportsman, Mr McCormick began cycling after suffering a serious rugby injury and has been steadily increasing his training regime in the gym and with his club, the West Suffolk Wheelers, in careful preparation for the big challenge.
The father of two, whose youngest son Conor, 21, is also starting out in the armed services, has been a member of the RBL’s Suffolk branch since he left the RAF Regiment in 2006 after 23 years’ service.
In completing the challenge, he hopes to highlight the valuable work of the RBL and the campaigns it supports, including Shoulder to Shoulder, the EADT-backed initiative supporting veterans and serving personnel in their time of need.